In support of local authorities: Refugee integration: from challenges to opportunities

In November, the Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants presented Information material for the new mayors and representatives of local authorities, which provides extensive information on the subject of the integration of refugees (persons granted international protection or registered for temporary protection) at the local level – in the cities and municipalities on the territory of Bulgaria. The publication emphasizes the opportunities for social and economic development, building local, national and international partnerships, as well as guaranteeing security. The publication was also developed as a result of consultations with experts from representatives of municipalities, state bodies and non-governmental organizations with experience on the subject of refugee integration.

Cities are where new societies develop. They bring together people with different histories, different origins, and this leads to the creation of new forms of economic, social, cultural and political exchange. Cities, municipalities and local authorities are at the forefront of the complex task of integrating refugees. The process of integrating refugees into the local context is a multifaceted endeavor that requires the cooperation and commitment of local authorities to provide an inclusive social and economic environment that also contributes to the well-being of local communities.

Globally, there are many ways in which municipalities respond to the refugee situation with a focus on the development opportunities that the situation presents. The scope of their efforts includes ensuring access to rights and services, coordination between different structures, support for social and economic integration of refugees; stimulating initiatives that protect and promote human rights, reduce vulnerabilities, combat prejudice and stereotypes, and promote inclusion.


Refugee-related opportunities and challenges for local authorities relate to both emergency response and the long-term integration of refugees into host societies, contributing to sustainable development, security, building international partnerships and supporting the private sector in finding a workforce.


The material is available online in PDF